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March 6, 2002

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Pineville, West Virginia, USA:

My 10 year old son has type 1 diabetes, and my seven year old son has recently been experiencing a bout with bedwetting. He has always wet the bed periodically, but it seems worse in the past few weeks. He also has gained no weight in the last six months, but has gotten taller and thinner. I checked his blood glucose about a month ago, and again this morning, and both were in the range of 105 mg/dl [5.8 mmol/L]. Should I be concerned about type 1 in my seven year old, or am I being a little paranoid?

Answer:

A blood sugar of 105 mg/dl [5.8 mmol/L] before eating is a bit high but not diagnostic of diabetes. You may want to do some overnight testing if the overnight urination is the only symptom you have noticed in your son. Also, you should do a series of before and 30-60 minute after meal blood glucose tests for two or three days and then discuss this with your 10 year old’s diabetes team. Enuresis [bedwetting] could be a signal that there is overnight hyperglycemia driving more urine to be produced. If your son has not had islet cell or GAD antibody testing, this may also be available. The chance of a second child having diabetes is about 5%. That is certainly more than the general population, which is 1 in 800, but still 95% of siblings do not have diabetes. So go get it checked out with the diabetes team.

SB